Review Summary: Horseback delivers the drone trip for all summers to come.
Horseback is a one man doom/drone project by Jenks Miller and The Invisible Mountain is his second CD. After it's original release in 2009 it's now been picked up by Relapse and re-released. As far as I know nothing has been added to the record. It’s still the same four song 38 minute record.
The overall feel of The Invisible Mountain is very relaxed. Think Bohren und der Club of Gore being covered by Earth at twice the speed these bands normally play. Laid back but with drums, guitar, bass and keys. Mix in a little 70’s spacerock, a bit of Altar of Plagues and even some post-rock. Listen to the first few minutes of “Hatecloud Dissolving Into Nothing” and you’ll swear this was a postrock album. I actually can’t hear a word he is singing and it sure doesn’t sound like happy hippie music, but still this is a very relaxing in the sun type album.
The fact you can’t really hear what he is singing has nothing to do with the production. There is nothing wrong with that. All instruments are present in the mix and nothing is ever drowning in bass or too present. A very clear sounding record.
The basic song structure for all four songs is pretty much the same. Pick a riff, be it bass or guitar, play a semi-clean melody line over it and keep repeating this for at least 6 minutes with a few small variations. Every now and then the vocals flow in and out, but most of the time it’s the riff and the melody line that drive the song. And Horseback does that very well.
The only downside to this album are the vocals. They will probably determine if you’ll go out and buy this record. The raw, heavily effect driven, black metal vocals are always in the background but because of the style they are very present and will probably scare you away the first time you listen to The Invisible Mountain. They did that to me. Even though I really liked the music I pressed stop the first time the vocals came in. But after a few spins it was the overall feel of this great doom/drone/postrock trip that is The Invisible Mountain that won me over.